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Basti, Steady

November 18, 2010

I posted this on my Facebook status:

(Me) doesn’t get the obsession about babies being “advanced”. Basti, my darling, take your sweet time growing up. you hear? Steady ka lang.

A week doesn’t pass that I don’t hear some sort of comment or question about Basti’s developmental progress, and how other babies his age are faring either “worse” or “better”. It annoys me.

Seriously, what is with the obsession for babies to be ahead of their developmental milestones? Why the rush anyway?

It’s time for that chicken-and-the-egg question. Did formula companies instill the need for early baby advancement in parents or was it the parents who urged  companies to base their marketing for formula on creating the “super baby”? Just asking. What do you guys think?

As for me, as long as Basti is on track, happy and growing up well within the WHO growth charts, I don’t see any reason why I should try and push him beyond that. Admit it; this competition, the quest for the “Super Baby” is all about the parent, and never about the child.

Have you guys seen this ad on TV about the “Your Baby Can Read” video series? Watching it makes you feel everyone else’s baby is reading except yours. I was going to buy it, succumbing to the pressure, and while I was scrambling around for my credit card thinking, “Basti will read at 8 months.. Basti will read at 8 months!”.. I suddenly realized… so what if he does? What’s wrong with getting around to reading at the REAL reading age anyway? I didn’t read till I was three and I’m fine. So are you.

So many children now are overstressed and overscheduled. They don’t even have time to just play. Even their playtime has to “productive”. If not, they’re usually in front of game consoles or DVDs. In my youth, playing meant going outside in the dirt to gather plants and flowers for my sidewalk “store”. People would pay me stones for something I “cooked” in my palayok from the market. My friend Carina remembers how she was let out of the house with a bike and instructions to come back before dark.

So instead of buying the “Your Baby Can Read” series, I’d much rather buy some nice wooden toys, a kiddie easel, finger paint, butcher paper and a huge tub for playing with mud, shaving cream or sand (or all of that at the same time). Don’t get me wrong; I’m buying books – LOADS of them (I do my bargain children’s book shopping at Books For Less. Seriously, some of them look almost brand new) but I am not going to force Basti to read, not till he’s good and ready.

And all of those programs that promise to get my child’s IQ higher, enhance his math skills, or make him read at lightning speed, you’re not getting a cent from me!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 18, 2010 5:49 pm

    I agree with you, as in super. It actually breaks my heart a little when I see my children growing up so fast. I don’t even enjoy them being babies.

    • Eliza permalink
      November 19, 2010 6:19 pm

      Right? That’s why I don’t get why they should be urged to grow up so fast.

  2. November 19, 2010 6:28 am

    I am so hearing you right now!!!:) Can I repost this in my blog?? I wouldn’t have said this any better. What’s the obsession with intelligence anyway? I’ve heard a comment once about schooling here in Holland were I live. It was a pinoy saying, “d2 sa Holland puro laro lang sa kindergarten, sa Philippines aral na agad.”

    A few weeks ago I visited the elementary school were I want to enroll my daughter in when she’s 4 years old. The principal said that the first year of kindergarten they let children play a lot, coz by playing they learn a lot. Of course the teachers will also guide them in their play. What I want to say is that everything has it’s time. Children should not be pressured. We have to adapt to a child to know what he/she is capable of, it should not be the other way around. As you said it should be about the child not the parent.

    It’s so sad knowing that a lot of kids are depressed already at a young age, because of much pressure.

    I think about these things a lot lately. When my daughter fell asleep a few hous ago after putting her to bed. I prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to guide me in my prayers and then I realized that all I want for her now is to have a happy childhood. That when she’ll think back of her childhood when she’s older, she would just simply smile because of the great memories she has.

    • Eliza permalink
      November 19, 2010 6:18 pm

      My sister had students who would attend school, then have extra outside classes till 7pm, made to study further at home till 10pm, then made to practice a musical instrument till 1am. One got a berating when she gave him a B+.

      And yes, you may share the post. Thanks! 🙂

      • November 21, 2010 6:21 am

        So sad, poor kids!

        Thanks for allowing me to share your post. keep blogging:)

  3. November 19, 2010 10:19 pm

    oh I can so relate to this. parents are so competitive. Parents nowadays want a trophy baby. 😉

  4. November 23, 2010 9:17 pm

    I love this post. And I love the comments – especially from Ai – some parents do see their children as trophy babies. Something they can use to brag about or show off to their friends. May be because we see our children as an extension of ourselves. I once asked my friend, after yet hearing another parent comparing her kid’s class standing against another’s, when did parenting become a competitive sport.

    I used to be that way too. I started having anxiety attacks when my daughter started walking at 16 months and started reading at age 4 – until I gave myself the opportunity to realize that she does everything at her own pace. And no one will hurry her up. Because she doesn’t care what other people think. She’ll do her thing when she’s damn good and ready. Hahaha! All children should be given that luxury. We’re not being remiss as parents if we don’t push our kids to be ‘early achievers’. They will reach their fruition in God’s own time.

    Now with my second daughter I’m more relaxed. I just let the miracles of her development surprise me. I no longer have a developmental calendar stuck on my wall. Hahaha!

    When I see how fast my 6 year old is growing I whisper to the little one 5 month old one – take your time love.

    Wait until you get to the part where you explore alternative schooling instead of sending him to the traditional schools. You will never hear the end of the implied “couldn’t cut it in a REAL school eh?” commentary. It will make you want to buy a taser.

    • Eliza permalink
      November 24, 2010 9:13 am

      Great stuff you said there, Tanya! And it’s true, our children don’t care what other people think. I’m not about to transfer that kind of thinking to Basti!

      I already have an answer to those comments that I will surely get when we start homeschooling – “I just think there are unnecessary elements in this world that Basti doesn’t need to deal with at this point in time. Elements like YOU.” Ang taray ni muther!

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